The African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church has a storied history of creating consensus in areas where parties desire but are having difficulty in finding the middle ground. In the peace negotiations related to Jerusalem, we support the Statements of the World Council of Churches, the World Methodist Council, and the National Council of Churches of Christ (NCCUSA) bodies in which we are members and participants in the leadership.
Over the decades, our leaders and members have been on pilgrimages to the Middle East to fully understand the issues and meet the people. Most recently in 2017, our Director of Social Action joined a delegation from the NCCUSA that visited Jordan, Egypt, Israel and Palestine to “check on the Christians”. The Christians pleaded for help to tell their story and help others understand the urgency of protecting the shared existence of all parties in the Middle Eastern region–whether Christian, Muslim or Jewish. That report signals a need for continued vigilant prayer and focused Peace Talks among the stakeholders as critical to finding solutions for three faiths/people (Judaism, Muslim, Christian) who call Jerusalem their founding place.
The action taken by the President of the United States is inconsistent with engaging the stakeholders, finding lasting solutions, and achieving a peace that is more than the absence of conflict/war/terrorist acts. It flies in the face of finding peace on earth, in a season where we are affirming the continued quest for this seemingly elusive quality of life. In fact, it seems to be the actions of a bully.
And for all of these reasons, we stand with those who oppose the action of declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel and urge continued efforts to find lasting peace. We urge resumption of Peace Talks with renewed urgency.
AME Social Action Commission
Bishop Frank M Reid, III, Chairperson
Jacquelyn Dupont-Walker, Director
Bishop Clement W. Fugh, President of the Council of Bishops
The African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church is the world’s oldest Protestant denomination founded by persons of African descent. Organized by Richard Allen and other free Blacks, its roots are in the Free African Society formed in 1787 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It currently has 2.5 million members in 5000 congregations in 40 countries on five continents.